Financial Modelling Integrity

In reality, more time is wasted trying to find out why your model does not balance than the time you took to build it in the first place. This module focuses on useful tips and tricks that can be used to interrogate the data in financial models and useful methods for finding errors quickly.

It will also provide tips and tricks to reduce errors in the first place.


This course is suitable for anyone with basic accounting skills, financial maths skills and excel skills.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course participants will be able to:


  • Understand the keys to integrity and efficiency in modelling
  • Recognise the importance of matrix integrity
  • Perform sanity checking
  • Perform matrix integrity checking
  • Perform stress testing
  • Debug models
  • Find unidentified hard numbers quickly and easily
  • Use Excel’s “Jump tool” to trace through formulas with ease
  • Use Excel’s auditing tool to trace formulas
  • Deal with circular references
  • Find unintentional circularities
  • Sort out model “blow–ups” caused by iteration and circularities
  • Protect the model from “blow–ups” using “circularity” switches
  • Use Excel’s circular reference toolbar
  • Use circularity macros
  • Perform error diagnostics

Course Content

  • Understanding the keys to integrity and efficiency in modelling
  • The importance of matrix integrity
  • Sanity checking
  • Matrix integrity checking
  • Stress testing
  • Debugging models
  • Finding unidentified hard numbers quickly and easily
  • Using Excel’s “Jump tool” to trace through formulas with ease
  • Using Excel’s auditing tool to trace formulas
  • Dealing with circular references
  • Finding unintentional circularities
  • Sorting out model “blow–ups” caused by iteration and circularities
  • Protecting the model from “blow–ups” using “circularity” switches
  • Using Excel’s circular reference toolbar
  • Circularity macros
  • Error diagnostics
  • Participants will be given a full model with many errors and will use the “Balance Sheet check” method to quickly find the reasons why the balance sheet is not balancing


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Why study with Alpha?

Innovation and creativity born from experience

We are thought leaders in instructional and learning journey design and holistic solution architects. We have extensive finance and investments experience combined with skills application to deliver performance improving results. We develop immersive learning environments that maximize time to productivity, support talent retention and added value to improving quality of hires.

Knowledge Exchange Evangelists

We are focused on mining the embedded organisational intellectual capital for the benefit of the next generation. We create and curate best in class practice gathered from our experience with the leading financial institutions. We design our programmes with the end in mind – what results are you trying to achieve with this intervention? What metrics will we set ourselves to achieve that?

Generation Proof

Quality and innovation, using current market and industry best practices, have made us a trusted partner in delivering dynamic and motivating training for the financial and capital markets. Our programmes are generation proof and responsive to evolving learner needs and styles. Our solutions use a multi-stakeholder engagement strategy that expands beyond relationships between the learner and learning provider. We create connections with managers, peers and the wider business to drive impactful return on investment..

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The team are so friendly and pleasant to work with, everyone is very professional and keen to help us. Building a relationship over the past couple of years helps us to feel like the Alpha team are even more able to understand our needs and provide more proactive solutions.
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